Watched The Arrival recently, and it was so mind-blowingly good that I decided to read the short story it was based on along with the rest of the collection. I want to explore the Perception of Time theme that was so obviously a major plot point in the story. Some might think this is one of those ‘Aliens land and we have to figure out how to talk to them’ movies, but seriously now, that’s kind of trite once you discover what the story is really about on a metaphysical level. Those who are paying attention will discover it pretty quickly. I think I might have shouted, “No Shit!” at the TV.
It’s obvious to anyone who works with words that our linear and mathematical perception of time has influenced not only our language but how we process information and how that information influences our decision making abilities. More importantly, I want to further explore the Free Will thesis being argued in the story because it directly relates to our perception of time.
If you already knew something was going to happen, what would you do? If time is circular and predestined, do we really have Choice? These are pretty serious questions, and true Science Fiction has been exploring those questions and others since Science Fiction was invented. It’s one of my favorite genres for that very reason.
I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done reading it.